Thank you to all of our candidates for running!
At the recommendation of Nate, a member of the NDFA steering committee, I created a petition calling for Mayor Emanuel to stop his annoying TV commercials trying to spin the teachers strike. I wrote the petition Sunday and by Tuesday morning it had 6,000+ signatures.
In my first email to people who signed the petition I asked them to visit the Northside DFA website to get a more detailed explanation of how NDFA fits into my vision for activism around Mayor Emanuel's bad behavior during and after contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union. Remember, Mayor Emanuel was behaving badly throughout the negotiation process.
To resist the attempts by Mayor Emanuel and his financial backers--mostly banks who want to turn government into something the capital class can invest in--we need to be organized.
Chicago has a great number of community organizations, but many of these organizations can do limited political work. This occurs for a variety of reasons, but...
Northside DFA is a fully independent political organization. NDFA is accountable to its voting members. And one becomes a voting member by committing time, not money. Every NDFA member who has attended at least three meetings in the last year and has done three campaign activities (mostly knocking on doors and making calls) for endorsed and adopted candidates is a "voting member".
What's this got to do with teachers? One, NDFA supported CTU when CTU went on strike. NDFA even gave members credit for one campaign activity for members who walked the picket line or went to the CTU rally.
But remember, there were only five aldermen who stood firm with the teachers: Scott Waguespack (NDFA endorsed), John Arena (former NDFA member, adopted candidate), Ric Munoz (NDFA endorsed when he ran for Clerk of the Court), Nick Sposato (NDFA needs to cultivate a relationship with him still) and Bob Fioretti (spoke at NDFA meeting recently).
While 30 aldermen signed Mayor Emanuel's letter blaming CTU for the strike (including one NDFA endorse alderman, Michele Smith), of the aldermen who stayed neutral two were NDFA endorsed, Ald. Ameya Pawar and James Cappleman (also was a NDFA voting member before elected alderman).
To have political power, you either need to be rich or part of an organization that gets involved in elections.
If you disagree with the direction Mayor Emanuel is taking Chicago, NDFA wants to talk to you. If you're not part of an organization already, NDFA invites you to join... or NDFA offers to help you build an organization that serves you and other like-minded people.
I strongly believe that Chicago will be a better place when people like us are better organized. I look forward to working with you in the future.